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Lincoln's Inaugurals, Addresses and Letters (Selections)   By: (1809-1865)

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Longman's English Classics

LINCOLN'S INAUGURALS, ADDRESSES AND LETTERS

(SELECTIONS)

EDITED

WITH AN INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR AND NOTES

BY

DANIEL KILHAM DODGE, PH.D.

PROFESSOR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE AT THE

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

FOURTH AVENUE & 30TH STREET, NEW YORK

PRAIRIE AVENUE & 25TH STREET, CHICAGO

Copyright, 1910,

BY

LONGMANS GREEN AND CO.

FIRST EDITION, JULY, 1910

REPRINTED, JUNE, 1913, MAY, 1915, MARCH, 1917

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE LINCOLN

INAUGURALS, ADDRESSES, AND LETTERS

Address to the People of Sangamon County, March 9, 1832 The Perpetuation of our Political Institutions, January 27, 1837 Speech at Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858 Second Joint Debate at Freeport, August 27, 1858 The Cooper Institute Address, Monday, February 27, 1860 Farewell Address at Springfield, Illinois, February 12, 1861 Farewell Address at Springfield, Illinois, February 11, 1861 Address in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, February 22, 1861 First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861 Response to Serenade, March 4, 1861 Letter to Colonel Ellsworth's Parents, May 25, 1861 Letter to Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862 Extract from the Second Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862 The Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation, July 15, 1863 Letter to J. C. Conkling, August 26, 1863 Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863 Letter to Mrs. Bixby, November 21, 1864 Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865 Last Public Address, April 11, 1865

APPENDIX. Autobiography, December 20, 1859

NOTES

INTRODUCTION

The facts of Lincoln's early life are best stated in his own words, communicated in 1859[see Appendix] to Mr. J. W. Fell, of Bloomington, Illinois. Unlike many men who have risen from humble surroundings, Lincoln never boasted of his wonderful struggle with poverty. His nature had no room for the false pride of a Mr. Bounderby, even though the facts warranted the claim. Indeed, he seldom mentioned his early life at all. On one occasion he referred to it as "the short and simple annals of the poor." Lincoln himself did not in any way base his claims to public recognition upon the fact that he was born in a log cabin and that he had split rails in his youth, although, on the other hand, he was not ashamed of the facts. More, perhaps, than any other man of his time he believed and by his actions realized the truth of Burns' saying, "The man's the goud, for a' that." The real lesson to be drawn from Lincoln's life is that under any conditions real success is to be won by intelligent, unwavering effort, the degree of success being determined by the ability and character of the individual. Still less profitable is the attempt to contrast the success of Lincoln with that of Washington, or Jefferson or of any other American whose early circumstances were more favorable than Lincoln's. In each case success has been worthily won, and we Americans of the present generation should rejoice that our country has produced so many great men. True patriotism does not consist in the recognition of only one type of Americanism, but rather in the grateful acceptance of every service that advances the fortunes and raises the reputation of the republic. Peculiar interest attaches to the character of Lincoln's early reading and especially to the small number of books that were accessible to him. In these days of cheap and plentiful literature it is hard for us to realize the conditions in pioneer Kentucky and Indiana, where half a dozen volumes formed a family library and even newspapers were few and far between. There was no room for mental dissipation, and the few precious volumes that could be obtained were read and re read until their contents were fully mastered. When Sir Henry Irving was asked to prepare a list of the hundred best books he replied, "Before a hundred books, commend me to the reading of two, the Bible and Shakespeare... Continue reading book >>




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